3 Day 2 Night Tour
- Price from:
- 785 NZD /person
- 0800 633 7245
- 64 3 442 7699
- Payment Types:
- Credit Card
- Travellers cheque
- Wire Transfer
- 3 days
- Location Start:
- Queenstown or Clyde
- Location Finish:
- Queenstown or Clyde
- Start time:
- 08.00 am
- End time:
- 06.00 pm
- We Speak:
Last updated: 10/08/2007
The Otago Central Rail Trail runs from Clyde to Middlemarch through some of New Zealand's most impressive landscapes. Cycle the 150km Trail in comfort with Off The Rails' fully-supported 3 day package
Day One - Clyde to Lauder (approx. 44km)
We pick you up from your Queenstown hotel at 8.00a.m. and you should be pedaling off from Clyde on your personally-fitted Avanti Atomic mountain bike by 10 a.m.
It will probably take you an hour along the flats to Alexandra, home of the Wild Thyme Festival. From Alexandra, the trail climbs slowly, crosses the Manuherikia River and passes through the Tucker Hill gold diggings and within a couple of hours you can be lying in the grass outside the Chatto Creek pub enjoying lunch.
You can then grab Tiger Hill by the tail... but don't panic! The Rail Trail's maximum gradient is just one in 50, so you'll barely need to work up a steam.
After that, it's an easy hour or so riding downhill to Omakau and from there a relatively straight stretch on to Lauder's Whitestone pub.
This afternoon, and every afternoon, we pick you and your bike up and head home to your heritage accommodation in Ranfurly for hot showers and a relax before your evening meal. Dinner on this first night is planned for Ranfurly's Lion Hotel, which is a short walk from your accommodation and is one of the many examples of Art Deco architecture which so define the town today.
Day Two - Lauder to Waipiata (approx. 58km)
Your tour guide will pick you up at 8.30am and drop you off in Lauder, where you finished the day before - a short transfer of approx. 20 minutes.
Just outside Lauder, the track crosses the Manuherikia River again via the Trail's second longest bridge at 110.6m. Then it's on through the Poolburn Gorge and its two tunnels, where you will see both dramatic schist bluffs and - on the 37m high Poolburn Viaduct - equally impressive intricate engineering of the quarried schist.
From here, slowly descend Raggedy Range to the Ida Valley - home to the rare NZ falcon, the Karearea. On your way into Oturehua, look out for the Ida Burn dam, which is used as a natural skating rink in winter.
Have a morning snack at the Oturehua Tavern, just across the road from Gilchrist's General Store, which is little changed since its opening in the 1930's.
Between Oturehua and Wedderburn, Rough Ridge marks the Rail Trail's high point (618m) and, nearby, you cross the latitude line of 45° south before heading down to Wedderburn, today's targeted lunch stop. From Wedderburn the Rail Trail crosses the Maniototo plain through Ranfurly and on to the village of Waipiata. The Waipiata Country Hotel offers all day dining and of course that well-earned refreshment at the end of your longest day's ride!
On your second night with us, we can make arrangements for you to expand your Maniototo experience by dining at one of the iconic pubs or restaurants within easy and scenic reach of Ranfurly. As many local restaurants are fully booked in the height of the summer season, we will email you closer to the time with our suggestion and restaurant availability. Our guides will transfer you to and from the restaurants.
Day 3 - Waipiata to Middlemarch (approx. 48km)
Once again, your tour guide will drive you Waipiata after picking you up from your accommodation in Ranfurly at 8.30am.
From Waipiata, the Rail Trail crosses the before following it to Daisybank and Hyde, where the cone-shaped hills remind you of ancient volcanic activity in the area.
You can once again marvel at the delicate workmanship of days gone by on Cap Burn's bridge at Tiroiti and Price's Creek Viaduct. Take a torch for the Price's Creek Tunnel near Hyde - unless you like biking in the dark for 152m! Today's recommended lunch stop is the Otago Central Hotel's café.
As you start cycling again, you will pass the Hyde Railway Station, and where 21 people lost their lives when the Cromwell to Dunedin passenger train crashed in June 1943 - the only serious accident in the history of the Otago Central Branch line.
As you leave the steep-sided Taieri Gorge behind, the valley broadens into the Strath Taieri plain. From here, you bike over flat or gently undulating land held between Taieri Ridge and the Rock and Pillar Range. Local knowledge holds that the characteristic cloud formations known as the Taieri Pet, form over the Rock and Pillar when strong northwest winds are approaching.
The trail ends just short of Middlemarch Railway Station. After due celebrations at the Kissing Gate Café, perhaps with a cold 'speights' or chilled glass of central Otago pinot gris, your tour guide will collect you for the journey back to Queenstown or Dunedin on the historic Taieri George Scenic Train.
We know you will be rightfully proud of your accomplishment and take many wonderful memories home with you.
- Extras -
- All Rail Trail cycle tours include:
Front-suspension mountain bike, helmet and waterproof panniers
Accommodation in our superior heritage properties in Ranfurly
Afternoon tea on arrival at your accommodation
Dedicated transport to and from the Rail Trail each day
Booking and transport to iconic Maniototo eateries each evening
Rail trail passport
Optional excursion arrangements - 4WD Safari, curling, golf, fishing...
Couldn't find what you're looking for? Check out more tours & excursions in Queenstown
- Fiordland - from 940 NZD
- Remarkables Scenic - from 180 NZD
- Best of Lord of the Rings inc Milford Sound - from 1560 NZD
- Lord of the Rings Flight to the Ford - from 385 NZD
- Summer Sampler - from 132 NZD
- Queenstown Garden Tour - from 96 NZD
- Otago Central Rail Trail - 4 days from 850 NZD
Email the tour operator - 3 Day 2 Night Tour
Important Notice : Avoiding Fraud
It's rare, but some helpful hints to watch out for with regards to fraud:
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- Research the property thoroughly on the internet to see if there is any history or mention of scams associated with the property.